Hard to believe, but my study abroad experience is about halfway over. (Where does the time go?)
Basically, I’m a mess of emotions right now. I’m at that point where I’m missing my home campus and already feeling nostalgic about leaving my study abroad campus soon But here is what I love about each campus.
5 Things I Miss About Arcadia University
- My personal relationships with professors. Stirling is a huge, 12,000 person campus, while Arcadia has only a fraction of that many students. Arcadia’s small size allowed me to get to know my professors on a deeper level than I can in a 200-person lecture, and I miss that support.
Stirling has a library, but Arcadia’s feels like one out of a college movie set…comforting, not too noisy, and instantly makes me feel like a scholar.
- Landman Library. Stirling has a library, but Arcadia’s feels like one out of a college movie set. It’s comforting, not too noisy, and instantly makes me feel like a scholar.
- More assignments. This is a weird one to have on the list, but let me explain. The large volume of assignments at Arcadia allowed me to mark my progress within the class and learn from my mistakes. Having 2 to 4 assignments per class at Stirling means there’s little room for improvement and “making your grade up later”.
- Campus architecture. The castle, the castle-like art building, the pond…there’s so much beauty in Arcadia’s construction that it would take another blog post to write about it all.
- Being near my family. The majority of my family and friends were a quick Amtrak ride away. Now, they’re a minimum 8-hour plane ride away. It’s unsettling to know that I can’t reach them, or vice versa, if anything goes wrong, but I know that I’ll see them very soon.
5 Things I’ll Miss About the University of Stirling
- Having my own bedroom and bathroom. This one is selfishly self-explanatory.
- European public transportation. It’s usually on time, the fastest way to get around, and is incredibly cheap. America, you can do better.
- I know I said I miss having more assignments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the lighter workload!Fewer assignments. I know I said I miss having more assignments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the lighter workload! Having fewer assignments (about 1 paper and one final exam per class) has allowed me to focus on my personal pursuits, including writing another book and reading a lot more.
- The natural campus. Stirling’s beauty definitely doesn’t lie in its buildings (I’m being honest; they were built in the 60s!). However, what it lacks in architectural charm, it makes up for in natural beauty. Centered around a large, wildlife-filled lake (or “loch”), dotted with tall trees, and containing long walking paths, Stirling is a great place for a semi-nature enthusiast like me.
- Easy access to the world. Hands down, the best part of living in the United Kingdom is seeing. Although I can’t see everywhere I want to (thanks, emergency laptop purchase!), I’ve seen enough to know that travel is part of me. Yes, I am better in my comfort zone. I like it there. But testing the limits of that zone is how I am creating a different Sierra, a Sierra comfortable with discomfort and at home with the unknown.